On day 258 of the war in Ukraine, the situation on the ground remains pretty familiar to 19FortyFive readers who have been regular readers for the last few weeks or so: the Ukrainian forces are attacking, and the Russian military is on the defensive almost all across the battlefield.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Tuesday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 77,170 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 278 fighter, attack, bomber and transport jets, 260 attack and transport helicopters, 2,786 tanks, 1,791 artillery pieces, 5,654 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 391 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 16 boats and cutters, 4,216 vehicles and fuel tanks, 203 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,476 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 159 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 399 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
More Weapons Coming
The United States continues to be the largest provider of military assistance to Ukraine by far. Recently, the White House approved another package of military aid to Kyiv. The latest package includes the following weapon systems and assistance:
– Refurbished HAWK air defense missiles;
– 45 Refurbished T-72B Tanks with advanced optics, communications, and armor packages;
– 1,100 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems;
– 40 Armored Riverine Boats;
– Funding to refurbish 250 M1117 Armored Security Vehicles;
– Tactical secure communications systems and surveillance systems; and
– Funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment.
In the T-72B main battle tanks package, the U.S. is working with the Netherlands and the Czech Republic to upgrade the sensors and equipment of the 45 Czech tanks; the Czechs will be sending a total of 90 T-72Bs.
Western military aid to Ukraine has been key in stopping the Russian military from achieving its goals. To be sure, the determination of the Ukrainian military and population to fight to the end is more important than guns and missiles, as the example of the Russian military with the more high-tech weapon systems at the start of the conflict has shown. But the constant stream of military aid that is tailored to the particular conditions on the battlefield has done wonders for the Ukrainian defense.
When the biggest threat came from Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers, the U.S. and NATO sent Ukraine anti-tank weapons, including the FGM-148 Javelin and the Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (NLAW).
Then, when Russian artillery was pushing the Ukrainian defenses to their limit, the West sent hundreds of artillery pieces, including M-777 155mm Howitzers and the game-changing M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS).
More recently, when the Russian military, under the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin, started raining down ballistic and cruise missiles and suicide drones on Ukrainian cities and critical infrastructure in response to the partial destruction of the Kerch Bridge that links Crimea with Russia and other setbacks on the ground, the West sent Ukraine advanced anti-aircraft systems to deal with the latest threat.
Dozens of countries have contributed to the defense of Ukraine. The U.S. is by far first with almost $19 billion in military aid since the war began and more than $21 billion since 2014 when the Russian forces first invaded Ukraine in Crimea and the Donbas; the United Kingdom, European Union, and Poland taking up the rest of the positions in the top four.
Expert Biography: A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.
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